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article imageFormer East Bloc countries call on EU to recall Communist crimes

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By Christopher Szabo     Jun 10, 2011 in World
Prague - Former Communist countries in the EU have called on the Union’s Justice and Home Affairs Council to declare a day of remembrance of all totalitarian crimes committed by regimes throughout Europe.
The former Communist nations want not only Nazi crimes to be remembered throughout the EU, but also Communist ones. Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Lithuania, as well as Estonia, have publicly made the call. Estonian Public Broadcasting quoted the country’s Minister of Justice Kristen Michal said:
"The basis of the effective functioning of the European Union is solidarity between member states and a knowledge of each other's history is a necessary requirement for solidarity to take shape."
The EU’s Justice and Home Affairs Council discussed the initiative Friday 10 July.
Michal commented on an EU framework decision aimed at combating racism and xenophobia:
“It focuses on the crimes denounced by the Nuremberg tribunal and Estonia has always been interested in that communist regimes and the victims of the regimes are not forgotten."
The EC report was published last year.
The Prague Monitor reported on deliberations in the Czech Senate, where Senator Tomas Grulich, who is a historian, criticised the position taken on Communism by many people in the West:
"The unconcerned stance of West European EU member states on the crimes of Communism is caused by ignorance or trivialising of modern history. Communism is still considered a good idea, mainly by European leftist intellectuals, which was only carried out in a wrong way."
He warned that the danger of a Nazi or Communist restoration has not been fully removed. The Czech Senate said the European Commission should work to create a framework in which not only crimes based on race hatred, but also crimes based on class hatred could be punished.
In the US, meanwhile, former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, Paula Dobriansky and former U.S. Ambassador to Estonia, Aldona Wos among other members of Washington’s diplomatic corps laid a wreath at the Victims of Communism Memorial, on Capitol Hill Thursday, June 9, to remember the 100 million victims of Communism since 1917, according to the Victims of Communism website.
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